in , ,

Dad Furious After Wife Buys Used Carseats From Their Neighbor For Their Autistic Daughter

Erik Mclean/Unsplash

Parents have all kinds of tough decisions to make on their children’s behalf, from keeping them comfortable and happy to keeping them safe.

When it comes to car seat safety, there are a lot of elements to consider, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor aitausedcarseat thought she was doing the right thing when she came into an opportunity to upgrade her daughter’s carseat.

But when she heard her husband’s reaction, suddenly the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t so sure.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for buying used carseats for my daughter?”

The OP’s daughter struggled with being comfortable in the car.

“My daughter (7) is autistic and has sensory issues. She loved her carseat and would have a mini-meltdown every time she had to get in the car after she grew out of it.”

“My husband and I tried special harnesses, seat belt covers, and everything else, but nothing worked. We looked into those special needs carseats but they’re insanely expensive.”

The OP came up with a solution.

“Our across-the-street neighbors had bought those carseats that can be used until they’re almost 5 feet tall and 90 pounds for their grandkids.”

“Then the parents brought their own carseats, so they decided to save them for the next grandkids, and that hasn’t happened yet.”

“I told them about my problem with my daughter and they offered to sell me all 3 carseats, still in the boxes, for $50.”

“I bought them, set it up, and took my daughter on a little test drive. She wasn’t squirming, whining, screaming, or crying (she’s nonverbal), so I’d say she liked it.”

Her husband did not like it.

“I called my husband to tell him about it and he basically called me an idiot for buying carseats second-hand and said that if our neighbor was willing to sell them that cheap, there had to be a reason.”

“I told him that the boxes hadn’t even been opened and there was nothing wrong with them, the neighbors probably just wanted to get them out of their garage.”

“He still is completely against it and won’t let me drive her around in the carseat so I wanted to know if I was the a**hole.”

The OP also mentioned the expiration dates in a comment

“I already checked the expiration date. We should be good for 7 years.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some agreed the unused carseats would be fine, because they hadn’t expired.

“The safety issue is that the plastic may be out of date (sunlight degrades plastic) but these have been kept in the box, not exposed to sunlight. The possibility they have been in an accident (again, unused in box, plus seller is someone they know personally) and that there is a possibility that they may have been misused.”

“None of that seems to apply here.”

“There is also the factor of whether the child is using an internal harness or the car’s own seat belt. As if using an internal harness, the safety of the seat relies on itself and its integrity. But if using the car’s seat belt, then the seat is just a booster that makes the seat belt sitting in the right place on the body.” – Ok_Point7463

“I don’t know where OP lives, but in the US one can go to any police station and they will be happy to help make sure carseats are safe and installed correctly. OP is not going to a second-hand store and blindly accepting they are safe.”

“They are second-hand, but they are BRAND NEW, NOT USED… Should they just be tossed in a landfill to exist forever?”

“This is some unreasonable bordering on ridiculous ‘first-world’ bullsh*t. The husband is a controlling so-and-so who clearly gets to determine things.” – waltersmama

“OP is NTA for sure. Brand new sealed carseats that don’t expire for another 7 years bought at a steep discount from a neighbor you trust for daughter’s comfort? Seems perfectly reasonable.” – TheBathCave

Others agreed and made suggestions for how to ease the OP’s husband’s concerns.

“The carseats are new in the box, so that is an unreasonable worry.”

“Secondly, the child is autistic which plays into a host of issues that have to be considered. If the child is flailing and thrashing or otherwise trying to escape thier seat during transport, it creates a greater danger than using an outdated model of the carseat base.”

“I have an autistic child and dread having to face this myself in the next year since even with practice on different types, and on the normal seat belt, my son wriggles free or screams and thrashes. Arguably, OPs answer is the safest since autistics tend to be quite specific about what they like.”

“If OP’s husband is concerned, he can look up the models and make sure they’re not recalled online. Otherwise, the usual worry is that you can’t verify if they’re structurally sound after an accident… which they never have been since they’re new in the box.”

“NTA.” – stealthboyo

“Hard NTA. He’s feeling jealous, or inadequate at secondhand stuff, or just overwhelmed by the pandemic, whatever. But logically he’s totally wrong here.”

“I’m not saying he won’t double down on it, but like… ask him WHY you can’t trust these specific seats, that don’t expire for 7 years. I doubt he’s got an answer beyond ‘I’m upset,’ which is still valid, just emotional rather than logical.” – BlakeTMooreWriting

“I just think he’s feeling anxious. I work in a second-hand shop and it is absolutely drilled in that you cannot accept carseats for safety reasons.”

“Yes, this one is in the box and hasn’t expired, but the husband isn’t jealous or wrong for being cautious about this. Just because this particular car seat is fine doesn’t make him incorrect for feeling that way.” – gremilyns

“Would your husband go with you to the nearest child safety seat inspector to have them checked out?”

“NTA since you checked the date. Your husband probably heard the ‘never buy used safety seats.’ Hopefully he’s not just a control freak.” – NYCQuilts

While the OP thought she might have been in the wrong after her husband’s big reaction to the news of the new-to-them carseats, the subReddit felt the OP was in the right for taking advantage of the opportunity.

Since the carseats were within their expiration dates and were unused prior to the OP purchasing them, it really should have been a no-brainer for the needs of their child.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.